Pharyngula

Chopra, again

Chopra’s latest attempt to critique Dawkins is as lame as his first. I summarized that first one as “Well, you can’t see love in your fancy microscope, now can you, Dr Smarty Pants?”; this one is the Incredibly Agile Evasive God trick. He’s going to play a game and try to define his god and religion into a kind of vague god he’s going to conveniently pull of out his pocket, one fuzzy enough that no one can criticize it, and he’s also going to engage in some blatant projection:

But Dawkins has pulled the same trick that he resorts to over and over. This is the us-versus-them trick. Either you think there is a personal God, a superhuman Creator who made the world according to the Book of Genesis, or you are a rational believer in the scientific method.

I begin to have doubts that Chopra has even read the book. Right at the beginning, Dawkins carefully and plainly explains that he is not setting up this false confusion, where everyone who believed in an impersonal ‘god’ made up of cosmic laws was going to get lumped with the fundies and slapped around with a bible.

By ‘religion’ Einstein meant something entirely different
from what is conventionally meant. As I continue to clarify the dis-
tinction between supernatural religion on the one hand and
Einsteinian religion on the other, bear in mind that I am calling only
supernatural gods delusional.

There is nothing comical about Einstein’s beliefs. Nevertheless, I wish that physicists would refrain from using the word God in their special metaphorical sense. The metaphorical or pantheistic God of the physicists is light years away from the interventionist, miracle- wreaking, thought-reading, sin-punishing, prayer-answering God of the Bible, of priests, mullahs and rabbis, and of ordinary language. Deliberately to confuse the two is, in my opinion, an act of intellectual high treason.

My title, The God Delusion, does not refer to the God of Einstein and the other enlightened scientists of the previous section. That is why I needed to get Einsteinian religion out of the way to begin with: it has a proven capacity to confuse. In the rest of this book I am talking only about supernatural gods, of which the most familiar to the majority of my readers will be Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament.

Notice that Dawkins has already pre-empted Chopra’s deliberate confusion.

I guess that since Chopra was getting whomped on for the silliness he was saying before, he felt the need to invent some silliness that Dawkins did not argue so he’d have something to whomp back. Pathetic. He’s threatening to have another part to this feeble criticism…it sounds like he’s already dribbling off into irrelevant nonsense.

Comments

  1. #1 Great White Wonder
    November 17, 2006

    Chopra’s latest attempt to critique Dawkins is as lame as his first.

    I think Deepak needs to talk to the taser. ;)

  2. #2 natural cynic
    November 17, 2006

    Cheapact Dopra’s strawman is on a rampage, looking for Dawkins’ strawman. \
    Doprra’s strawman swings — and Dawkins’ strawman is missing.
    Dopra’s strawman declares victory over a strawman that never existed!!

  3. #3 Steve_C
    November 17, 2006

    You can’t honestly believe a shaman/guru would not use deception to make a point.

    I don’t think most of the believers can argue their way out of Dawkins’ way… they have to project and build straw men.

    And to we non-believers their arguments are as solid as quicksand.

  4. #4 llewelly
    November 17, 2006

    I find it interesting that Dawkins focuses his energy on attacking beliefs about god that are highly relevant to the effects abrahamic religions have had on culture and politics, but these negative reviews focus on beliefs about god that largely irrelevant to most of the religion-inspired actions undertaken by abrahamic believers.

  5. #5 Rey Fox
    November 17, 2006

    Of course Dawkins doesn’t write against an impersonal god, they’re too inscrutable and, let’s face it, irrelevant. It’s basically the “he just doesn’t know enough theology” argument again. Nobody cares about your Groovy God. Many younger people believe in one, but aside from that making them crashing bores from time to time, I can abide.

  6. #6 Scott Hatfield
    November 17, 2006

    I think Chopra fails to earn passing marks, not just in biology, but in theology as well. Dawkins makes clear distinctions, and the thing that really frosts Chopra’s chaps is that this clarity threatens to lift the fog of self-satisfied, unquestioning assent favored by much of Chopra’s readership….SH

  7. #7 VJay
    November 18, 2006

    Poor Spiritual Guru! a poem
    .
    IF HE’S PHONEY AFTER MONEY
    .
    poor spiritual guru!
    his followers are
    leaving him,
    bidding him goodbye

    it was fun
    so long it lasted,
    everything finally
    comes to an end

    if he’s phoney after money
    they decry him,
    but if he’s simply stupid
    they pity him

    but leaving him en masse
    simple folks with pure hearts -
    his followers he deluded most -
    have now read Richard Dawkins

    those who still stick around
    are blind as he is
    or greedy as he is
    or stupid as he is

    they’ll flock together
    till they find the true path,
    the path of science and reason
    not his path of blind religion.

    ~white wings

    http://whitewings.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/if-he-s-phoney-after-money.htm

  8. #8 VJay
    November 18, 2006

    A Note of Appreciation
    .
    SCREWED-UP SPIRITUAL GURUS
    .
    hats off to Myers, Alex and
    to you too Skep for
    helping the guru
    understand
    (if he can!)
    what Dawkins says

    and helping his lollipop
    soul sucking followers
    see some light of the day

    men of science must
    serve humanity stopping
    screwed-up spiritual gurus
    propagating their foolishness.

    ~White Wings

    http://whitewings.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/screwed-up-spiritual-gurus.htm

  9. #9 MartinC
    November 18, 2006

    The trouble with both Dawkins and PZ is that they refuse to consider the Lilly.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgSn7VG5Odc
    Aaaaaahhhhh!

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